QUAERITUR: Can a regular Latin priest say Mass in the Anglican form?

From a reader:

With all the hullabaloo in the past with bishops not allowing priests to offer the EF Mass, I’m wondering if Latin Rite priests are allowed to celebrate the Anglican Rite in an Anglican Use Ordinary?

I consulted with a priest of the Ordinariate in England.  Hey responded that, yes, a garden-variety priest of the Latin Rite could use the Anglican form.

I posed in the question in the context of substituting for an Ordinariate priest, rather than the garden-variety guy wanting to use the Anglican form at his garden-variety parish.

So, yes.

However, if Father would not be able to do a proper job of it, perhaps the people would be patient were he to use the Missale Romanum.

Benedict XVI was the Pope of Christian Unity.


A priest from the US Ordinariate wrote (edited):

Can a regular Latin Rite priest use the Anglican Use? At least here in the US, the answer is: not without permission of the priest’s Ordinary. Just as I would not presume to celebrate the Dominican Mass without permission, a diocesan priest really should not be using the Anglican Use. Should a priest be asked to fill in at a local Anglican Use parish, and if he has not received permission to use the Anglican Use, then he should use the Roman Missal, which is in fact a liturgical use also proper to the Ordinariate.

Very helpful.

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  1. dhgyapong says:

    Not only have we had “regular Latin priests” celebrate our Anglican Use liturgy for our Ordinariate parish here in Ottawa—we depended on them while we waited for our former clergy to be ordained—but also the Archbishop of Ottawa has celebrated it several times. Archbishop Terrence Prendergast celebrated it when he received our parish into the Catholic Church April 15, 2012; and then came again to celebrate it on Ascension Thursday. But then, he will also celebrate the Extraordinary Form. Companions of the Cross priests have been the main celebrants for us here in Ottawa. This is a relatively new, charismatic order that is used to contemporary worship but they loved our liturgy and our small community and did their best with the ballet of genuflection ad orientem and the Shakespearean English. It has been the real sharing of gifts that Pope Benedict XVI anticipated in Anglicanorum coetibus. They brought us their passion for Christ, their spontaneity and their joy. The Ottawa archdiocese has made us feel so welcome in the Catholic Church.

  2. Daniel says:

    The way it apparently worked under the U.S. Pastoral Provision was that the Anglican Use had permission to be used for a community rather than a priest. A priest ordained under the Pastoral Provision that had no PP community could not use it for an ordinary community. A PP community that did not have a PP priest could have the Anglican Use said for them by an ordinary priest, such as in Corpus Christi where priests were provided by S.O.L.T. If a PP priest was away from his PP community, he could make arrangements with any ordinary priest to say an Anglican Use Mass for the community. If the PP priest traveled with his PP community, such as on a pilgrimage, he could say an Anglican Use Mass for that community wherever they happened to be, such as in St. Peter’s Basilica.

    I don’t know that any of that changed with the Personal Ordinariates, that permission for the Anglican Use likely still goes with their being an Ordinariate community. Therefore any regular priest could say it for an Ordinariate community, though not for a regular community. I’d expect that a priest ordained for the Ordinariate that is helping out at a regular parish would not have permission to say an Anglican Use Mass for that parish. That may have changed with Anglicanorum Coetibus. I’m not too sure what the “Anglican Use” actually is in England at this point, as I don’t think they wanted the current version of the Book of Divine Worship. It seems like an article on Holy Week suggested they were using the Roman Rite Missal while using Propers from the Anglican Use Gradual and the RSV Lectionary. So what exactly is the “Anglican Rite” in England?

  3. Daniel says:

    I’m not too sure what the “Anglican Rite” would be in Canada either. Do they use the same BDW used in the U.S.?

  4. Jeannie_C says:

    Why would a regular Latin Priest want to use the Anglican form? [Perhaps because, when substituting at an Anglican Ordinariate parish, he respects their tradition and would like to support them.]

  5. Daniel says:

    I don’t know if you might get different responses depending upon whether you asked a priest incardinated in the Personal Ordinariate versus a Pastoral Provision priest that is assigned to a Pastoral Provision community that is part of the diocese.

    The former PP AU communities in Scranton and Houston now have pastors that are incardiated in the Ordinariate, whereas the other existing PP communities have priests that are still either part of the diocese or S.O.L.T. Of the latter, San Antonio and Arlington (which has long been rumored to be joining the Ordinariate after their former pastor has retired) have their own buildings. A number (not all) of the Ordinariate communities seem to meet at churches that are actually existing diocesan parishes. I would guess that any smaller community that meets at a parish where the Roman Missal is the norm might feel it necessary for a substitute priest to get permission from the local ordinary to say an AU Mass for the community. I don’t believe that the long existing AU communities that were approved under the PP feel it necessary for a substitute to get specific permission, since the AU applied to the community. The main thing would be whether or not the substitute understood how to celebrate the AU. The substitute priest in that case is celebrating Mass for a diocesan parish at which the AU is the norm.

  6. Giuseppe says:

    Jeannie_C, I’ve been to an Anglican Use Mass, and it has gorgeous language. If I lived nearer, I’d go there much more frequently. Attached is a link to the Book of Divine Worship, an Anglican Use counterpart, in a way, to the 1962 Missal. The language of the psalms is especially beautiful.


  7. Guiseppe – thanks for the link. Do you know where I can find the rubrics for the Mass? The Anglican Use videos I’ve got all have the priest ad orientem, while all the Anglican (high church) services I’ve been to have had the priest facing the congregation. Who faces which way, and when?

  8. Rachel K says:

    I am in the UK and asked this question of our friend who is an Ordinariate priest here. His answer was that a Latin Rite priest is not permitted to use th Ordianriate Rite for Mass. However, he as an Ordinariate priest can use the Latin Rit and he does this when he kindly provides cover for Mass for the parish priest whose Church this Ordinariate group uses.
    I will check again regarding this question, it seems we need to be clear about this one.
    Regards to all.

  9. Daniel says:

    The guidelines for celebrating Mass in the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham can be found at https://www.ordinariate.org.uk/document.doc?id=99 . While they mention the use of the Book of Divine Worship, the only one approved for use at this point would still be the one from the U.S. developed during the Pastoral Provision. My understanding is they felt it was too American for England, and so mainly have used the Roman Missal until a revision has been accomplished and approved.

    The guidelines commend Ad Orientam where the building dynamics allow it, which most likely most of the altars they use had previously been set up versus populum.

    As beautiful as the language may be, I expect if a priest were to attempt to celebrate it for a congregation other than one that normally celebrates it, the people would be lost and he would not receive the responses from the people. Usually if you visit an Anglican Use Mass, it is best to sit back far enough so that you can follow the others as the gestures are a bit different. I expect that the reason it may appear to be a particularly beautiful Mass is that it is usually celebrated solemnly, which of course could be done using the Roman Missal by following the rubrics.

  10. Jeannie_C says:

    Giuseppe, thank you for the link. I just read through some of it, very beautiful indeed.

  11. Thanks Daniel. Congregations not knowing when to sit and stand and kneel is the norm for the Extraordinary Form and Ordinary Form parishes I attend, so I sit far back enough to figure it out in time to not look silly. The EF I am still getting used to, and the congregation’s confusion doesn’t help. Most of the time they get it right, though. No Anglican Use parishes in my country as far as I know – the bishops said there would be no ordinariate here. We have a few ex-Anglican priests from long ago, so I imagine they are all celebrating the Ordinary Form. We have no reason to see an Anglican Use Mass.

  12. Rachel K says:

    Daniel, I am a bit confused by some of your statements. My family and I have a close involvement with the Ordinariate here in the UK. You ask “So what exactly is the Anglican Rite in England?”
    At present, there is a form of the Rite for use in the Ordinariate in the UK which is an interim form approved for the time being while a final form is being prepared. I think this is separate from any form used in the US. I recall that the Ordinariate was established here first (someone please correct me on this if I am wrong!)
    The Roman Missal has never been used here for Ordinariate Masses.
    I do not have any knowledge of the ” US Pastoral Provisiosn” and this has confused me as I looked at a description of this and it seems to have been superseded by the Ordinariate provision.
    I will check the facts I have stated here but am pretty sure of them.
    It is a great thing to have these doorways to the Catholic Faith for our brothers and sisters in the Anglican Church, much good fruit is being borne from this.

  13. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    Does anyone know how the Sarum Rite Candlemas celebration in Merton College chapel posted by brunothelabrador on You Tube does or might fit into this discussion?

  14. Daniel says:

    Rachel K:

    The Pastoral Provision came into being in the U.S. some 30 years ago, which is about the age of the three oldest Anglican Use Pastoral Provision parishes. It was for the Pastoral Provision that the Book of Divine Worship was written. The main difference was that for those 30 years Pastoral Provision communities came in under the territorial diocese with the local bishop as their ordinary. In my own opinion, it was the resistance of bishops to accept such communities into their diocese that Anglicanorum Coetibus was established so that they could have their own ordinary.

    While it is true that an Ordinariate was first established in England, the Anglican Use had been in effect in the U.S. for years. When the U.S. Ordinariate was established, the decree indicated that their principal church building would be Our Lady of Walshingham in Houston, which had a long history as an Anglican Use parish under the Pastoral Provision in the Archdiocese of Houston (though it does not seem to have been made clear whether or not the existing parishioners were made members of the Ordinariate). In a Q&A at the Bishops’ Conference announcing the Ordinariate, a point was made that the existing Anglican Use parishes would not automatically become part of the Ordinariate since they belonged to their dioceses. While it had long been said that an advantage that the U.S. Ordinariate might have would be their existing AU parishes, that advantage went away before the Ordinariate even began.

    It would certainly seem as though there was no reason for the Pastoral Provision Office should continue after the Ordinariate, though they maintain that their purpose has been for those priests interested in becoming diocesan priests rather than AU. It makes no sense since that was obviously already happening outside the US without the benefit of the PP. The main purpose of the PP was actually to establish communities preserving a tradition which would celebrate using the BDW.

    The terminology in the U.S. (and as far as I know worldwide) that it is not an “Anglican Rite”, that it is a variation of the Latin (or “Roman”) Rite. Normally referring to a “Rite” refers to a sui iuris Church, while the Ordinariates are not. “Anglican Use” seems to be the established terminology, though I don’t believe that is the legal term.

    I was basically asking what is happening in England as far as the liturgy is concerned, as I’ve heard many times that they did not care for the BDW as it had already existed. I’m sure a revision is being worked on, and I recall that there has been some forms announced for some other Sacraments. Some of that has been confusing, I can recall Cardinal Wuerl telling the Bishops that as far as he knew the BDW only covered a Mass. My wife and I were married using the BDW 15 years ago, and there been Baptisms under the BDW for years.

    An article about Holy Week at the OLW Ordinariate had said: “Warwick Street remains a parish of the Archdiocese of Westminster, serving the faithful of the Archdiocese as well as being a church ‘dedicated to the life of the Personal Ordinariate’. This is important to remember, and was the principal reason for the use of the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite in these first days, rather than the distinctive ‘Anglican Use’. That said, a number of elements of the Anglican liturgical patrimony were employed, and it is hoped that this summary might show how and where these were used.” That’s a bit confusing to me how it can be ‘dedicated to the life of the Personal Ordinariate’ and yet it does not use some form of the “Anglican Use” that has already been approved due to being a parish of the diocese?

  15. Daniel says:

    You can find a history of the Pastoral Provision in the United States at http://www.pastoralprovision.org/history.htm . The history is most useful for seeing why it was created. It mentions – “The initial reaction of the Congregation, though rejecting the idea of any kind of ‘ritual diocese’ was basically favorable.” So while a “ritual diocese” was at first rejected, 30 years later the Holy See changed its mind and set up personal ordinariates.

  16. Daniel says:

    The OLW Ordinariate’s website has a page on “liturgy”, which refers to a “Customary” and the “Book of Divine Worship” as was written for the U.S. The way I read it the two choices are to either use the BDW or the Roman Missal for Mass. While it could be that some communities in England are using the BDW, my understanding is that England did not care for the American language. If there is an interim revision that has been approved, it does not seem to be mentioned on the Ordinariate’s page – http://www.ordinariate.org.uk/liturgy-anglican-use

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